Empty gestures

I love my new home in Chile. But as a Palestinian from Gaza, it is excruciating to watch my birthplace and my people cope with the prospect of a third Israeli war. I am helpless. I dedicate this to 14-month-old Seba Abu Arar, one of two toddlers killed (no, murdered) since Saturday, May 4, 2019. 

Art by Belal Khaled

It is the end of our summer season,
and it is warm outside.
People wear T-shirts and shorts,
yet I huddle under my blankets.

My feet and hands are like ice,
just like the hearts and faces
of those who witness homes demolished,
kids being buried at an early age,
fetuses dying inside their mothers’ wombs.
The world is silent,
feigning pity and love.

But their gestures are empty,
their blame reserved
for our meager attempts at self-defense.
Amid this chaos and strife,
broken, bereft families
struggle alone.

On these moonless nights,
the people of Gaza can’t sleep,
the streets like empty runways,
no lights,
no near-Ramadan laughs;
just the ghosts of war.

The demons of death
spread fear and horror,
terrorizing those in their path.
Snatching their joy,
hopes and dreams,
their very lives.

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Mentor: Pam Bailey

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